Happy ending for unhappy ball field-UPDATED
UPDATE: The Community Fund has also agreed to renovate Forest Park’s six ball fields. Both communities’ renovations are expected to begin in June.
“We couldn’t be happier to have found Lincoln Heights and Forest Park,” said Charley Frank, executive director of the Community Fund. The organization fixes fields in Reds territory which is a large geographic area that stretches far outside Cincinnati. It’s renovated fields in Columbus, Indianapolis, northern Kentucky, Dayton and Louisville. “But there’s a whole range of Cincinnati suburbs that re right in our (target area) that we hadn’t met yet,” he said.
The Community Fund is actively looking for more fields and teams in need. If you know of one, go to www.redsyouthbaseball.org and let it know.
The Village of Lincoln Heights was hoping to get some state capital bill money to renovate its ball fields. But what it ended up getting was even better.
When Assistant County Administrator Eric Stuckey saw the request he immediately thought of an organization that could help: The Cincinnati Reds Community Fund.
He was familiar with it because his kid plays ball and Stuckey has helped coordinate cross-city match-ups through the Fund. So he hooked up the Lincoln Heights folk with the Community Fund folk and voila! The Fund decided to renovate Lincoln Heights’ Memorial Athletic Field (named in honor of residents killed in Vietnam) which is a big deal for that community.
That field is used for football and baseball but needs new bleachers, fencing, water for the concessions, entrance road repairs, better handicap accessibility and public restrooms. It also has outdated playground equipment and no track, according to the capital bill request (which was $254,000.) The Community Fund expects to be able to do it for much less because of the organization's existing connections and contributions.
The community had been trying to gather money for it since 2000. Stuckey said the knothole team was unsure if they’d even be able to use it this year, which might have resulted in the team disbanding.
So the Community Fund came to the rescue. Not only are they going to rehabilitate the field, they’re going to sponsor the knothole team, Stuckey said. The community also hopes to use the improved field to expand its Lincoln Heights Days Celebration.